Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spurgeon on why pastors should be theologians

In his Lectures to my students, recently reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust, Spurgeon insists,
"Brethren, if you are not theologians you are in your pastorates just nothing at all. You may be fine rhetoricians, and be rich in polished sentences, but without the knowledge of the gospel, and aptness to teach it, you are but a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal." (p. 78)
Pastors should strive to be pastor-theologians. Ministerial training should not simply give men Bible handling skills. Ministers of the Gospel must learn to think theologically so that they can teach the people of God the whole counsel of God. The ability to do this is best cultivated by careful and prayerful reflection on Scripture in conversation with the great theologians of past and present. Pastors will profit from reading the classics like Augustine's Confessions, Calvin's Institutes and the great Puritan works. But we also need to keep abreast of newer works like The Holy Trinity by Robert Letham (P&R) and The Drama of Doctrine by Kevin Vanhoozer. He who walks with the wise will (hopefully!) become wise.


Jonathan Hunt said...

The more I know, the more I realise I don't know. And, the more I wish I knew.

As an aside, I have been told that you don't have to be a minister to get into the banner conference, so long as you are actively engaged in miniSTRY, whether ye be in seminary, or whatever. So I'm hopeful about next year.

Guy Davies said...

I didn't know you didn't know that. If they let people like you go to Banner, then I'm not going any more! ;-)